Rules regarding recording of sightings

We have just started our 19th year of daily records of birds seen or heard on the land that comprises Willowbog Farm. We also make a note of the weather as well as any interesting observations of other animals and insects.

Some sort of rule is required to govern what is recorded. I established at the start that the only rule needed was that the observer had to be on Willowbog land when a bird was seen or heard for it to count. In practice this means that birds flying over neighbouring land will be included, why should this be?

Well, if watching a bird from the house that is in the air near the public road, about 400 metres away, it is impossible to say if it is flying above our land or just over the boundary. It also means that in the Spring a cuckoo calling, maybe a mile away, will be recorded if heard from our land. I justify this by saying that if the information has any purpose at all,  it is simply to record the range of birds in this area, rather than those precisely on our land, and to be able to use the records to compare changes over a period of time.

Any changes will be as a result of various and sometimes unknown factors. An obvious factor has been the maturing of the main and subsidary wetland areas together with the associated tree planting schemes that began in 1990 when we purchased the land. One such item has been the establishment of Sedge warbler as a regular breeding species previously unknown on this land.

Our current all time list totals 122 species, I will upload the list here when I get time.  As I will our lists of mammals and other animals and insects. New species get added to these lists only very infrequently now.

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